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Catmint Health Benefits, Properties, and Uses

Catmint

Properties: Antibacterial, Anti-inflammatory, Astringent, Sedative, Antispasmodic, Carminative, Tonic, Diaphoretic

What is Catmint?

Catmint is a popular garden herb scientifically known as nepeta cateri. Commonly, catmint is called catnip or catswort. It has an intoxicating, calming effect on cats when the plant’s flowers are disturbed or going into seed.1 2 3 Catmint originated in the British Isles but is now grown all over the world as a decorative plant that’s valued for its medicinal effects on humans. Catnip is easily cultivated and grows in poor soil conditions, requiring minimum water. Garden plants usually have to be protected from neighboring cats that are highly attracted to it and will roll on catmint plants, destroying them.1 2

Catmint plants are perennial meaning they regrow from the root yearly. They stand 2 to 3 feet tall and produce heart-shaped, toothed leaves covered by a soft, mealy down. Catmint flowers are small and whitish-pink with small red spots. They emit a strong, aromatic similar to mint and pennyroyal. The scent that mesmerizes cats is due to a terpenoid called nepetalactone that has proven health benefits for people.1 3 Catmint leaves are commonly dried and made into tea, however caution is necessary not to boil water containing catmint as the high temperature destroys the chemical constituents and nutrients that are beneficial to health. Boling water should be reduced and left to slightly cool before inserting catmint leaves to steep.1 2 3

Catmint Health Uses and Health Benefits

Catmint health benefits include effective treatment for relieving stress and anxiety, breaking fevers by inducing perspiration without raising body temperature, digestive disorders, and menstrual cramps. Catmint health benefits also include being an anti-inflammatory able to reduce inflammation in arthritis and skin irritations.1 4 5 Catmint uses include treatment through topical application as an ointment or salve from essential oil extract, brewed as a warm tea, made into juices and tinctures as well as occasionally smoked as a dried herb.1 3 Other catmint uses include treatment for:

  • Common Cold - Catmint is proven to induce sweating and is popular with alternative practitioners to relieve cold symptoms. Catmint tea is recommended as a natural common cold remedy.
  • Headache - Catmint has proven to treat headaches by having immediate action on the sacral plexus. Drinking catnip tea is recommended as well as rubbing catmint essential oil on the temples.
  • Hemorrhoids - Catmint health benefits include being a natural anti-inflammatory and antiseptic making it an effective treatment for skin disorders. Topical application of catmint ointment, salve or essential oils works to reduce swelling and irritation caused by hemorrhoids.
  • Fever - Catmint causes the body to produce free perspiration which is sweating without raising internal temperature. Perspiring is highly effective in reducing body temperature caused by fever. Catmint tea is recommended for treating fevers.
  • Diarrhea - Catmint is a natural home remedy for treating digestive illness. It’s particularly effective for stopping diarrhea, especially in children.
  • Arthritis - Chemical constituents in catmint are particularly effective as anti-inflammatory agents. Ingesting catmint as a tea or topically applying catmint oil to arthritic joints relieves arthritis swelling and pain.

Catmint Side Effects and Precautions

Catmint side effects are few and it’s generally safe for humans in all applications. Some catmint side effects such as allergic reactions have been reported.1 3 Catmint can act as a diuretic. People taking lithium as a medication should avoid catmint as it can alter the way lithium is removed from the body.1 Because catmint acts as a sedative it should not be mixed with other sedative or it may amplify sedation.1 Pregnant women should not take catmint internally as it may induce labor or produce other unknown catmint side effects.3

References

  1. http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-catnip.html
  2. http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/catmin36.html
  3. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/catnip.html
  4. http://www.natures-health-foods.com/catmint.html
  5. http://www.digherbs.com/catmint.html

CuresDecoded worldwide community recommends Catmint for:

Cold (Common Cold) Effective
Headache Effective
Fever Effective
Diarrhea Effective
Arthritis Effective
Flu (Influenza) Effective
Rheumatism Effective
Bronchitis Effective
Dandruff Effective
Stress Effective
Poor Appetite Effective

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